8. Make sure to pack everything you need
Before packing for your Disney vacation you’ll want to consider the time of year that you’re going. If you’re going in the winter, you’ll want to bring long pants and a jacket to be on the safe side, as Florida can get “cold.” (By “cold,” I mean it can generally get into the 40’s and 50’s. As a New Englander, I might have a different idea of what to wear in this kind of weather, so use your own discretion and pack for the season.) If you’re visiting in the summer, you’ll want to bring shorts, short sleeve shirts, or tank tops, and most likely ponchos and umbrellas due to the daily rain storms Florida often gets. And while you’re packing, don’t forget the basics like toiletries, travel documents, prescription medication, and bathing suits.
7. Re-watch your favorite Disney movies
I recently watched Mickey’s Philharmagic with a friend who hadn’t seen many of the movies seen in this show in at least 10 years. Needless to say, she was not very impressed with Philharmagic, and it’s not difficult to see why. With no understanding of those stories, or emotional connections to those characters, the show was essentially useless to her. If you’re planning a Disney vacation, make sure you’re up on at least the classic Disney movies before your trip. Without any connection to classic Disney movies, you might find it difficult to enjoy some of the attractions in the parks.
6. Stock up on Disney gift cards
Stocking up on gift cards before your trip is a great way to make paying for food and souvenirs more affordable. I recommend adding money to a Disney gift card weekly before your trip. During your trip, you can charge purchases to your resort room, and at check out, you can pay it off with the gift cards.
5. Create a plan for lost family members
By this tip, I do not necessarily mean only lost children. There have been numerous occasions where I’ve seen adults looking for other adult members of their parties, where at least one person has a dead cell phone and doesn’t know what to do. In the event that you’re separated and the cell phones die, decide on a meeting place. For children, look into bracelets or temporary tattoos that contain your contact information. And let children know to look for a Cast Member with a Disney name tag if they are separated.
4. Make sure you have a good, working camera
If photos are important to your, make sure your camera is in good shape before you leave for your trip. You don’t want to get halfway through your trip to have your camera decide it wants to stop working. In addition, be sure to pack extra batteries, memory cards, and chargers, as these items will be more expensive to purchase in the parks. And don’t forget that Disney PhotoPass photographers can take photos with your camera for free.
3. Choose your Magic Band colors
When you book your Disney vacation, (assuming you are staying at a Walt Disney World resort) you will receive an email prompting you to choose your Magic Band colors. If this is important to you, be sure to choose them right away, otherwise you’ll be receiving plain grey ones upon check in.
2. Making dining reservations
Disney restaurants are extremely popular, and availability can be limited, so it is very important to make reservations for your top choices in advance. Even if you end up changing plans multiple times, I would recommend making advanced reservations to be on the safe side. You can always change restaurants or cancel 24 hours before your reservation with no penalty.
1. Do some research prior to your arrival
This tip really goes for any vacation, but particularly for Walt Disney World, it is extremely important to have some idea of how you’d like to spend your time before you arrive. This might include things like how much time you’d like to spend in each park (which would help when you purchase tickets) or where you’d like to make dinner reservations. Research is also important so that you can be more efficient and get the most out of your vacation. For instance, if you’re visiting during one of the busier weeks of the year, you might want to research the best ways to plan your day around the crowds. A little bit of planning ahead might seem time consuming before your trip, but it will definitely help you out in the long run!